Friday, August 18, 2006

Profiteering, waste and failure

That is the legacy of the Bush Administration, FEMA and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers on the Hurricane Coast. That is the finding of the non-profit CorpWatch as reported by the internet news aggregation site

In a report titled Big, Easy Money the corporate watchdog details how billions of dollars were funneled to politically connected corporations in no-bid, cost-plus contracts ripe for abuse. The same cast of corporate players were responsible for the massive waste and failure in the reconstruction of Afghanistan and Iraq.

"One year after disaster struck, the slow-motion rebuilding of the
Gulf Coast region looks identical to what has happened to date in Afghanistan
and Iraq. We see a pattern of profiteering, waste and failure - due to the same
flawed contracting system and even many of the same players" says CorpWatch
Director Pratap Chatterjee. "The process of getting Katrina-stricken areas back
on their feet is needlessly behind schedule, in part, due to the shunning of
local business people in favor of politically connected corporations from
elsewhere in the U.S. that have used their clout to win lucrative no-bid
contracts with little or no accountability and who have done little or no work
while ripping off the taxpayer."

The full report is available online here.

The Sept. 18 Times-Picayune continues the saga, detailing how large, out-of-state corporations gamed the system to win $200 million in bids to provide emergecy housing "FEMA" trailers. Everyone in America heard about the handful of (mostly out of state) grifters who gamed FEMA out of a few million dollars.

How many know that politically connected friends of the current administration have looted billions of tax payer dollars, effectively denying the aid Congress voted for to the people who truly need it? Everytime you hear some official mouth the lie about how much money was sent to the Gulf Coast during the August anniversary, remember to mark down that person as a liar, and remember that most of that money has never arrived here through the filter of big corporations that siphoned off most of it along the way.

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"And when we speak we are afraid our words will not be heard nor welcome, but when we are silent we are still afraid. So it is better to speak remembering we were never meant to survive." -- Audie Lorde

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